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India, others slam EU aviation cap


New Delhi : The BASIC countries — Brazil, South Africa, India and China – Tuesday criticised the European Union’s (EU) “stubbornness” to go ahead with its aviation cap, saying such unilateral action will jeopardise international efforts to combat climate change.

In a joint statement issued after the 10th meeting of the quartet here, the countries expressed deep concern and reiterated their firm opposition to the EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) that came into effect Jan 1.

India along with US, China and many other countries have been opposing EU-ETS. Under the scheme, airlines using EU airspace will have to pay a fee for carbon emissions that exceed a set limit.

“Ministers noted that the unilateral action by the EU in the name of climate change was taken despite strong international opposition and would seriously jeopardise the international efforts to combat climate change,” said the joint statement.

The ministers recognised the threat of similar unilateral measures being considered by developed countries in the name of climate change in the area of international shipping.

“We view it as a severe breach of multilateral climate change convention and other international laws. We are united and will take joint action to oppose it,” said India’s Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan.

China’s chief climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua said: “After EU”s proposal, China has been approaching them at different levels but it continues to be stubborn. We hope that we can work together to stick to multi-lateral principle and not take unilateral trade measures.”

The grouping also discussed outcomes of the climate change talks in Durban and the road ahead.